Steven Rattner on the Auto Industry Bailout

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Steven Rattner, the Obama Administration’s former Car Czar, who led the effort to restructure GM and Chrysler, gives an insider’s account of the process. In Overhaul: An Insider's Account of the Obama Administration's Emergency Rescue of the Auto Industry, he tells what happened during the historic auto-industry intervention, covering political brinkmanship, corporate mismanagement, and personalities under pressure. He also explains the tough choices he and his team made to keep Chrysler and General Motors in operation.


Steven Rattner

Comments [9] from New York;, N Y

very dumb people who did not see what lies on the Horizon of course are going to suffer this decade.

The time of Caviar and Champagne dreams are forever gone !

Now China is hte country who holds hte goods tha tout parents told us not to buy but we never listened.

Now is time to pay the Piper !

Jan. 28 2011 07:54 PM
Diane from Hanover Township

I was at a baby shower recently, and a serious topic of conversation at the table was cars. Gandmothers and mothers expressed their frustration at the need to buy larger (and more expensive) cars then desired so the required car seats for all the children could fit. Listening to today's show, I wondered if children's car seats are required in Europe, and if so, how do they fit in the smaller cars.

Oct. 13 2010 10:47 PM
John from Fort Lee, NJ

Buy American made Ford cars and support your fellow Ford/UAW Union Democratic workers!

Otherwise, if you want to support other countries and watch the demise of our own manufacturing base, continue buying foreign made or branded cars! Just because that BMW or Toyota may be assembled in the US, that doesn't mean that profits and reinvestment stay here!

Oct. 13 2010 07:56 PM
John from Fort Lee

What the Ford haters forgot is that Ford also has a whole new line up of cars and truck, the 2010 Motor Trend Car of the Year and the best American CEO in the last 100 years in Allan Mullaly. Yes, he mortgaged the company, but he also forsaw the impending doom that nobody else had anticipated, cut staff and production to appropriate levels and changed the culture of Ford. Now, Ford cars are equal to or better than Toyota and Honda according to J.D. Powers, Consumer Reports and Motor Trend.
Ford has been taking back a large amount of market share from Toyota and Honda in the past 12 months while they have suffered in quality and confidence.
Support America and your fellow UAW Democrats!! Buy

Oct. 13 2010 07:23 PM
Lance Lofthouse from Hackensack, NJ

Again, Rattner is out hyping his book of revisionist history. It makes me ill to listen to him again. What is this episodes brilliant solution to our economic woes? Rattner boldly blurts out, "Raise the gas taxes bringing them inline with Europe." Further he suggests congress is spineless in this matter. I very happy he left office. The country is better off without him. Why am I so bitter? My loved ones and I are suffering in this economy because of his moronic ideas and those of his ilk. Sure, raise the taxes on oil for heating and trucking. Shipping will come to a standstill and we all can enjoy the long winter in the comfort of a freezing home.

My email about the previous Rattner circus.

I remember a story from my childhood that went something like this... Henry Ford invented the car made from replaceable parts. Besides making the car on an assembly line he included one absolutely brilliant idea. He designed the car to sell at a price his workers could afford. No pun intended concerning the word af-ford. I can't believe Ratner dismissed Michael Moore's comment about UAW wages. Adding insult to injury I listened to the CEO of GM complain on a radio interview that GM could not be competitive with Toyota because of UAW pension payouts. GM did not set aside the pension funds. GM used the pension income as operating capital. Now, when it came time for a payout GM is whining that this drives up costs and they can't compete. How is this any different from running a Ponzi scheme? Shouldn't the executive team of GM be thrown in prison? (BTW: Congress approved the same Ponzi scheme concerning Social Security funds during the Johnson years.) Ratter's casual and brain fogged dismissal of Moore's simple reasoning about of our current economic disaster is based on Ratter's myopic, ivory tower academic view. Ratner is an icon of economic disaster. I guess the mighty Rattner, in all his academic (emperor's new clothes) splendor, is ignorant of Occam's Razor. The solution is the problem! All of these financial wizards need to have the curtain drawn back to reveal their destructive leadership. Ironically I must admit I am a member of the NRA, a devout conservative and loyal follower of the dearly departed Bill Buckley yet I feel with all my heart that Moore absolutely, positively nailed the issue. We need more clear minded visionaries like Moore. I was beside myself because someone with airtime actually brought this obvious truth to light in such an eloquent fashion. At this point Michael Moore has my vote. I hope he would banish Ratner and his ilk back to academia where all they can do is try to pollute the minds of unsuspecting college students.

Oct. 13 2010 01:01 PM
Joe from New Jersey

You mentioned that you were amazed at the smaller-sized cars you saw on a recent trip to Italy (all across Europe)! You also likely saw less obesity. As an American family we recently lived in Paris for 2.5 years and Americans expect and demand LARGER everything. Think of Supersize Me and just look and listen to people when they comment about food portions at almost any average restaurant. We need to reform our lifestyle in more ways than one. Don't get me wrong, we're happy to be back and this is still a great country. . .

Oct. 13 2010 12:46 PM

Your guest forgets: the year before the credit crises, Ford, in bad shape & in a desperate last-ditch move, mortgaged the entire company, property, factories and brand, in return for a huge loan. It is mortgaged to the hilt, but having borrowed cash already, it avoided of the need for a US bailout, but otherwise Ford would have been in the same boat.

Oct. 13 2010 12:29 PM
Steve from Englewood

Ford got lucky. They borrowed billions BEFORE the crisis. When GM (and Chrysler) tried to borrow, the cupboard was bare.

Oct. 13 2010 12:27 PM
rich k from Union City NJ

The difference between the Volt and a hybrid is that the gas engine in the Volt is not connected to the drive train. The engine is there only to generate electricity, and so can be optimized to that task, making it theoretically more efficient.

Oct. 13 2010 12:25 PM

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